Our trainings are interactive, taught by seasoned outreach workers, centered in evidence-based practices, and incorporate the voices and stories of people who have been or are currently experiencing homelessness. We have different types of trainings that range from beginner to advanced, general to specific. If you have any questions or are interested in more than what we are offering below, please contact For a calendar of our scheduled trainings and events, please click here and to watch videos of past trainings, please click here.

General Volunteer Training
If you want to learn more about how to get involved with Open Table Nashville, this training is for you. Our volunteer training provides a basic understanding of who we are, what we do (and don’t do), what volunteers opportunities are available, our philosophy of homeless outreach, tips for staying safe, and the basic skills needed for Resource Shelters, foot clinics, and innkeeping. (Next date: March 14th and August 29th).

south NashvilleHomeless Outreach Training – Beginner
If you have a little volunteer experience under your belt or are hoping to get more experience in the realm of homeless outreach, this training is for you. The Beginner training will cover the basics of how to better understand the complexities of both the personal and systemic aspects of homelessness, how to approach and engage in outreach, how to navigate the resources in Nashville, and how to cultivate reflective listening skills and healthy boundaries. (Next date: March 28th and May 23rd)

Homeless Outreach Training – Intermediate
If you have been volunteering in outreach efforts for some time and want to build and sharpen your skills in this field, this training is for you. The Intermediate training will cover improving reflective listening skills, strategies for intervention and de-escalation in situations of crisis and conflict, navigating the resources in Nashville, tips for interacting with the police, how to identify and respond to cold weather injuries and illnesses, and cultivating mutuality and sustainability in outreach. Coffee and light snacks will be provided, please RSVP to We ask that participants donate $10 for this training to cover materials, but feel free to give what you can or come even if you can’t donate right now! (Next date: July 18th and December 5th)

Homeless Outreach Training – Advanced
Ed Website, Advocacy & PolicyIf you have been volunteering or working in the field of homeless outreach for some time and want to strengthen your skills and work through complex scenarios, this training is for you. The Advanced training will focus on refining deescalation skills, working with people who have personality disorders and extreme barriers to housing, honing reflective listening (and Motivational Interviewing) skills, and cultivating sustainability in our care. (Next date: TBD)

Advocacy and Policy
If you’re interested in learning more about addressing the root causes of homelessness (like the lack of affordable housing and the criminalization of poverty), then this training is for you. This training will focus on equipping you to know what’s happening on the ground with policy changes in Nashville, how to effectively navigate Metro Council and State Legislature, and how to organize for change in your community. (Next date: TBD)

Winter Outreach Training
Ed Website, Winter TrainingAs the temperature drops, learn how you can help prevent cold weather deaths and injuries. This training will better equip you to engage and support our friends on the streets during winter; to help with outreach canvassing efforts on the coldest nights; to recognize and respond to injuries and illnesses like hypothermia and frostbite; and to better navigate the winter shelter system. Coffee and light snacks will be provided, please RSVP to We ask that participants donate $10 for this training to cover materials, but feel free to give what you can or come even if you can’t donate right now! (Next date: November 14th)

Introduction to Volunteering with OTN – Lindsey (21:33)
Basics of Volunteering at Resource Shelters – Liz (19:27)
Active Listening 101 – Lindsey (17:25)
Beginner Outreach Training – Lindsey (1:20:51)